With allergies and colds causing runny noses, nasal congestion, and sinus pressure, you may think your answer is to use a neti pot. Nasal irrigation isn't new, but is it safe? We asked allergist Dr. Kathleen Dass, MD, from the Michigan Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center, and here's everything you need to know about using a neti pot.

A neti pot looks like a small teapot with a handle at one end and a spout at the other. They can be made of ceramic or plastic, and they "are a natural, alternative, and safe way to clear out the mucus" from your nose and sinuses, explained Dr. Dass, whether you have a cold, allergies, or a sinus infection. "Neti pots help remove crusting, thin, or thick secretions and can help make medications more effective."

Just fill the neti pot with a solution of warm or room-temperature saltwater (whatever temperature you prefer), place the spout in one nostril, lean over your sink and tilt your other nostril down toward the drain, and allow the warm saltwater to drip out your open nostril, flushing out your nasal passages.

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